Wags and Whiskers ‘Block Party’ a howling success

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Cleo was one of the cats up for adoption at the Wags and Whiskers Block Party at Northpointe Animal Hospital Sunday in Lynnwood.

Story and photos by Meredith Barrett

Despite the misty, grey day, the Wags and Whiskers Block Party at Northpointe Animal Hospital in Lynnwood had a great turnout.

With more than 12 local shelters and rescue groups, including Second Chance Rescue and PAWS, the event on Sunday allowed the community to learn more about rescue animals and have the chance to adopt cats and dogs in need of homes.

A broad range of creatures were on hand, from Cleo, a calm and cuddly shorthaired black cat, to Cricket, an outgoing fluffy Pomeranian.

“When the pets find their forever home, it’s pretty exciting,” said Michelle St. Mary, a licensed veterinary technician and owner of Northpointe Animal Hospital.

St. Mary mentions the importance of rescuing animals from being euthanized every year. This type of event brings awareness of this issue to the people and the community.

Jennifer Kissinger, a veterinarian with Northpointe, notes how important it is to educate potential owners about rescuing and adopting a furry friend.

“I really like bringing the community together to talk about adopting animals and giving them good homes,” Kissinger said.

Kissinger recently fostered Cleo, the black cat. He was struggling with a urethral obstruction and was going to be euthanized before Kissinger took him in. After giving him medication and some TLC, Cleo is now ready for a new home.

“Second chance was able to take him and fix him up so he can go to a good home,” Kissinger said with a smile. “He truly is getting a second chance.”

This is the first year Susan Masser, volunteer for Purrfect Pals, has attended Wags and Whiskers. She believes this event is great for those thinking about adopting. Purrfect Pals brought four cats to the block party, including Jessa, a partially blind buff Tabby.

“It’s a great opportunity to get the cats out in public to find homes,” Masser says. “It’s important to adopt the cats so we can save the cats (from being euthanized).”

Masser says an array of people have adopted cats through Purrfect Pals. From bikers to the elderly, Masser believes that the cats of Purrfect Pals will find owners that will match their personalities.

Everett Animal Shelter volunteer Justine Lewis was excited to be at Northpointe with all the dogs. Because she is unable to own a dog herself right now, Lewis has taken up volunteering frequently at the animal shelter.

“I want to make sure (the dogs) all find homes,” Lewis said.

Volunteering at the Everett Animal Shelter for two years has parlayed her passion for animals into a career path. She is now taking her prerequisites at Shoreline Community College and plans on attending Washington State University to become a veterinarian.

Lewis believes it is important for events such as Wags and Whiskers to occur because it supports the local animal shelters as well as brings interested community members together. Here, they can get advice about what kind of pet they like and are encouraged to rescue.

Looking into the dogs’ and cats’ eyes was enough to pull peoples’ heartstrings. From those who attended the event in hope to find their four-legged soul mate to the numerous volunteers, compassion for the animals that needed homes was palpable.

“I think all of us who work here at Northpointe and in the veterinary industry (agree that when a pet is adopted), it brings us back to why we came into the animal business anyway,” St. Mary said.

Meredith Barrett is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory.

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